How to Navigate Penn Station: The 2022 Guide
Penn Station is located in Midtown Manhattan between Seventh and Eight avenue. This Station is one of the busiest stations in the world, but certainly the busiest rail hub in North America. Around half a million people use this station each day, and it connects with Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and the Long Island Railroad.
Unfortunately, Penn Station is known as one of the most difficult railways to navigate, especially for tourists or first time visitors. Because it serves both those in New York, those in New Jersey, and those using the 1,2,3 and A,C,E Subway lines, it’s almost always crowded. If there’s an event going on, it is likely to be more crowded.
Luckily, this guide can help. While Penn Station may be confusing and overwhelming, it’s also one of the best ways to get around New York and the surrounding areas. This guide breaks down the best tips for navigating Penn Station and how you can make your way through like a pro.
Here’s what you need to know.
Getting To Penn Station
You can find the entrance to Penn Station on 7th avenue, between 31st and 33rd streets. You can also find entrances on 34th street on 7th avenue and 34th street on 8th avenue. This hub of transportation is always open, just like the city that never sleeps.
If you’re using the Subway, take the 1, 2, and 3 trains to get to Penn Station. Just be sure to get off at the 34th street stop. You can also use a train to drop you off at 34th street where you can then access Penn Station through underground access points. Similarly, the M34 Bus Service connects directly with Penn Station and will drop you off directly there.
Just like an airport, there are specific entrances for different Penn Station services. If you’re using Amtrak, you’ll have a different entrance than if you’re using the New Jersey Transit or Long Island Railroad.
Using the Amtrak
If you’re leaving from Penn Station using the Amtrak service, you can get as far as Chicago. Popular destinations, however, include Washington D.C, Boston, and Philadelphia. The signs to Amtrak Hall will direct you to where you need to go, and you can enjoy waiting rooms that are open 24 hours. Enjoy self-service kiosks, counters, and help desks, as well as free Wi-Fi. Be sure to bring your own food and drinks if you’re planning a longer trip as there are no refreshments in the waiting areas.
Using Long Island Railroad
This part of Penn station can take you to the southwestern part of New York, from Manhattan to Suffolk County on Long Island. LIRR doesn’t announce the platforms in advance, so be prepared for scurries and crowds rushing toward the train as soon as the platform is announced. As long as you’re prepared, you’ll be able to navigate the station just fine.
Using New Jersey Transit
NJ Transit is the public transportation line that runs through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. There are local stops as well as long distance travel that you can use as you need. It’s important to note that there is no waiting room for trains in NJ Transit, but there are large waiting areas. We suggest waiting in a local cafe or restaurant nearby instead of trying to navigate the crowds.
Tips for Navigating Penn Station
Here are a few excellent tips for navigating Penn Station for a seamless, smooth process!
1. Get There Early
We recommend getting to Penn Station at least an hour before your train departs so you have time to navigate the station signs, find the right location, get your tickets ready, and have time to use the restrooms if necessary. This is especially important if you’re a first time visitor as this allows you time to find your way to the correct location.
2. Buy Your Ticket in Advance
It can also be a good idea to book your ticket in advance. Instead of standing in line to use one of the self service kiosks, booking your ticket in advance and having it available when you enter the station is one of the best ways to look like a pro while getting around.
3. Use Luggage Storage
So, you’ve finally made it to Penn Station and you’re ready to explore your destination, but what do you do with your luggage? You can’t walk around with it weighing you down, but you don’t want to leave your bags unattended. Store your bags in a facility for luggage storage in Penn Station! This will keep your bags safe, sound, secure, and let you explore your destination hands-free and worry-free so you can get the most out of your trip.